Removing Odors From Clothing That Was Left in the Washer

November 14, 2010

All of my towels have that smell of when you leave them in the washer too long. (I did that). I can't get the smell out. I have tried with vinegar and bleach even though they are colored. I will have to get new ones if I can't get the stink out. When you dry yourself off, you smell then. Please any ideas?

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By Maria Disrud from WI

Answers

November 14, 20100 found this helpful

Please try Baking soda in the wash. Let it soak for 20 minutes. A shot of Febreeze when they are dry wouldn't hurt!
Best wishes!

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

The magic word is baking soda. Soak the towels in your regular laundry soap and add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of soda. Maybe soak them for 1/2 hour. I hope it helps you.
Donnakay

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

Done that! Washed them in HOT water and dishwasher soap, the powder or 2 tabs. I used double the amount for one dishwasher load and it got the smell out! I used lemon scented dishwasher soap and now they smell like lemon! It HAS to be dishwasher soap, not just dish soap. Good luck!

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

Something that is color safe and fabric safe is Pine Sol. I will add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of lavender or spring flowers scented Pine Sol to the wash to deodorize and disinfect laundry that has a "sour" smell to it.

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I've done it with excellent results and NO DAMAGE to the laundry.

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November 26, 20100 found this helpful

I use 20 Mule Team Borax, pine cleaner along with my regular detergent and run one full cycle. Then I rinse a second time with fabric softener, smells wonderful when it comes out of the dryer.

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Anonymous
October 9, 20120 found this helpful

Try ammonia... I know it sounds weird, because it is stinky on its own, but I swear it works and your clothes do not smell like ammonia when they are done. Also safe on clothes... treat similar to bleach.

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July 28, 20160 found this helpful

please answer this question i need help i left cloth in washer an i can't get the sour odor out

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April 30, 20170 found this helpful

My brother-in-law worked delivering fuel oil and he always got some fuel oil on his clothes. He used ammonia and swears by it. I have the sour smelling clothes and have avoided this method.

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I have tried the vinegar, but the smell won't come out. So today, I am trying the ammonia. I use ammonia to wash my floors, and like you say...it smells bad, but it drys clean and fresh. Weird, but true.

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Anonymous
October 2, 20170 found this helpful

Just make sure not to mix with bleach! You'll end up with a toxic chloramine vapor.

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December 17, 20170 found this helpful

What if you are scent allergic? I can't use Lemon!

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Anonymous
December 27, 20170 found this helpful

That can't be good for your skin though right? I mean even though you wash that chemical is still going to be in the fabric.

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Anonymous
January 17, 20180 found this helpful

It's hard to get clear ammonia because of the Drug Enforcement Agency listed it as a watch chemical. When I see it I buy a couple of gallons.

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I like to use it to clean windows. I'm testing it right now on some towels. I'll follow with vinegar and baking soda and finally toss them out if this does not work.

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Anonymous
July 24, 20180 found this helpful

If using dishwasher detergent, make sure to add first and mix well. It contains bleach and can leave bleached spots and streaks if not mixed and diluted fully before you add the laundry. DH used it once by mistake instead of laundry soap, so I speak from experience.

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July 24, 20180 found this helpful

If using dishwasher detergent, make sure to add first and mix well. It contains bleach and can leave bleached spots and streaks if not mixed and diluted fully before you add the laundry.

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DH used it once by mistake instead of laundry soap, so I speak from experience.

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4 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 28, 2019

I forgot load of laundry in washer for 3 days. Is it ruined, cuz it smells or can vinegar or baking soda help remove odors?

Answers

July 28, 20191 found this helpful

I would wash it again and put vinegar in the rinse water.

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July 28, 20190 found this helpful

Your clothes will be fine. Just add a cup of white vinegar or baking soda and proceed to regular washing.

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July 29, 20190 found this helpful

You can use vinegar and baking soda to remove smells. I have done this before. If I am out, I have also done well to remove smells from clothes left in a week (the mind is a terrible thing to lose) but taking everything out, wiping down the washer with a wet rag dipped in blue Dawn, then reloaded and rewashed everything on COLD with my regular amount of Tide and I added an extra rinse cycle.

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I also hung the clothes outside. I do not have a dryer and line dry anyway, but you may want to do outside or line dry inside if you can't outside... so that just in case here is any residual smell it does not get baked in by the dryer.

I have had to do this a few times...now I text myself a reminder every Monday (Sunday is laundry day) to check the washer just in case!

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December 4, 2015

I forgot I had washed a load of laundry and left it for a couple of days. Now it smells. What can I do?

Answers

December 5, 20151 found this helpful

Run it thru the rinse cycle with a little vinegar. I use vinegar in the rinse cycle of every load. It eliminates the static electricity and don't have to use fabric softner. Can't smell the vinegar after after the water rings out and clothes are dry.

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December 6, 20150 found this helpful

Your clothes stink due to bacteria that has grown in that damp dark environment. Wash them again! :)

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December 6, 20150 found this helpful

You could also re-wash them, and pour a cup or so of regular amber mouthwash in at the start of the rinse cycle.

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September 12, 2008
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November 14, 2010

I left clothes soaking in my washer too long with detergent added to the water. Needless to say, we had a very busy week and forgot to run the load.

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